Saturday, July 09, 2005

G8 summit ends

Yesterday, the G8 summit at Gleneagles concluded in the shadow of the bombings in London, with leaders pledging to double African aid, to $48 billion, in the next five years.

This action may sound good on the surface, but, again, it only goes a certain distance towards addressing Africa's problems, and doesn't do much to address trade and privatisation-related issues.

According to the Guardian, these were the other major agreements struck at the summit:

· Write off debt initially for 18 African countries.

· Provide "as close as possible" universal access to treatment for HIV/Aids; tackle malaria, TB and polio; education; and train a further 20,000 peacekeeping troops.

· Open dialogue between the G8 and emerging countries on climate change, with the first meeting in London in November, but no targets for cutting carbon emissions.

· Provide $3bn a year for the next three years for the Palestinian Authority to help build up institutions.

· Establish a "credible end date" for a trade agreement to eliminate export subsidies.
The major disappointment coming out of the summit seems to be the lack of any concrete plan to address climate change, with Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian noting, "George Bush emerged from the Gleneagles summit yesterday once again the victor on climate change, appearing to compromise but in reality giving no ground."